Outlet Not Working? Things To Look For

25 January 2021
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For most people, electrical outlets are just one of those components that they use and don't think much of. However, there are certain times when one of your electrical outlets might demand more attention. If you have been avoiding the use of one of your home's electrical outlets because it doesn't seem to work, there are some things that you should know about the potential causes and ways to fix the problem.

Is There A Problem With Your Breaker Panel?

If you have an outlet that isn't supplying power, the first thing that you should check is whether or not the outlet itself is even getting power. If the circuit breaker has tripped or a fuse has blown, you may not have power feeding to the outlet. In that case, the solution is as easy as resetting the tripped breaker or replacing the blown fuse.

How Do The Plugs Fit?

Another thing that you should consider is how well the plugs fit into the problematic outlet. If you find that anything plugged into the outlet is loose or doesn't fit well, that's a sign that the outlet is worn out or damaged internally. If the contacts inside the outlet are too worn, they won't make contact with the plug prongs, which means you won't get power to whatever you plug into the outlet.

You'll have to have a home electrician replace the outlet if this is a problem. Installing a new outlet will restore contact between the prongs and the outlet assembly, restoring power flow as well.

Are The Outlets Warm?

If you plug something into the outlet and the appliance doesn't work but you can feel heat from the outlet if you touch its surface, that's a warning sign that there's a problem with the wiring. In those cases, the heat is being generated by excess electrical current that has no other way to dissipate because it can't flow properly into the appliance that's plugged in. While the outlet seems to be dead because the appliance doesn't work, it does in fact have a current flow that simply can't reach its destination.

You'll want to work with a home electrician to isolate the source of this problem. It could be a wiring short or an internal assembly problem. In some cases, replacing the outlet may fix it. In others, you may need to have part of the wiring circuit replaced. Your electrician can tell you what the best solution is.

Can You See Anything On The Outlet?

One of the biggest single indications of an electrical outlet problem is visible charring or black residue on the outside of the outlet. This indicates that there was an electrical fire, even just a minor one, or that the outlet significantly overheated. When you see this residue on an outlet that is no longer working, that often indicates that the wiring behind it has burned as well. If you see a sign like this, you need to reach out to an electrician immediately and avoid trying to repair it yourself. 

Reach out to a home electrician service to learn more.